Jeongeun Lee6 battled to claim her first major championship in a week embroiled in controversy
US Women’s Open report: What happened in Charleston?
We told you to remember the name (and number), now Jeongeun Lee6 is a major champion.
Lee6 battled to a final round of 70 to hold off the challenges of the likes Celine Boutier and Lexi Thompson and claim the US Women’s Open.
The South Korean was largely consistent all day and only made bogeys at the 1st, 16th and 18th. Four birdies, including three on the back nine saw her finish under par and seal a two-shot victory.
🏆 6 IS NUMBER 1! 🏆
— USGA (@USGA) June 2, 2019
The final day proved to be a tough one for scoring with the majority of the field failing to break par, which emphasises Lee6’s achievement.
The 23-year-old has enjoyed a terrific rookie year on the LPGA and it has been a case of when, not if, she would win her first title.
Now that's a winning celebration!
— FOX Sports: Golf (@GolfonFOX) June 2, 2019
Not only is Lee6 now the champion of arguably the biggest tournament in women’s golf, but she also walks away with a $1 million – the largest prize fund handed to a major champion on the women’s circuit.
Boutier, who was just one shot behind on the 18th tee, showed once more that golf can be a cruel game as she double-bogeyed the last, adding to the double-bogey she made on the 1st.
Celine Boutier's double bogey cost her $415,367, going from $594,000 for solo second to $178,633 for T-5.
— Ryan Ballengee (@RyanBallengee) June 2, 2019
Thompson looked to be in with a shout of victory after three rounds of supreme ball striking, but it was not to be and a final round of 2-over saw her take a share of 2nd place.
US Women’s Open report: Talking points
It seems a massive shame that the biggest talking point of the week was some idiotic comments from a coach rather than the spectacular golf on show, but here we are in 2019 and this is still happening…
Hank Haney, best known for being Tiger Woods’ coach who now presents a radio show on SiriusXM, was at the centre of controversy early last week due to some comments that he made on air in relation to the LPGA:
Hank Haney took some shots at the @LPGA this morning on his @SiriusXMPGATOUR show with Steve Johnson:
Steve: This week is the 74th U.S. Women’s Open, Hank.
Hank: Oh it is? I’m gonna predict a Korean.
Steve: *laughs* Okay, that’s a pretty safe bet.
— Samantha Marks (@SamMarksGC) May 29, 2019
The likes of Michelle Wie and Annika Sorenstam condemned his behaviour:
As a Korean American female golfer, these comments that @HankHaney made disappoint and anger me on so many different levels. Racism and sexism are no laughing matter Hank….shame on you. I don’t ever do this, but this must be called out. https://t.co/P18JByTosN
— Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) May 29, 2019
— Annika Sorenstam (@ANNIKA59) May 29, 2019
While the LPGA had their say:
We are proud of the many faces who represent the diverse and global nature of golf. We celebrate all our athletes for the people they are, the countries from which they come, and the unique stories that each of them have to tell. This game is for everyone. #DriveOn pic.twitter.com/eIfhid66RV
— LPGA (@LPGA) May 29, 2019
Even Tiger had his say, giving this damning response:
“He deserved it.”
Haney did post an apology of sorts, but we’re not sure anyone’s buying it…
— Hank Haney (@HankHaney) May 29, 2019
Slow play has been one of the hottest topics of debate in golf for some time now, and unfortunately there was another incident surrounding the issue at this week’s major.
In Saturday’s third round, there were plenty of groups that could easily have been put on the clock, notably the final two groups of the day, who are said to have taken around three hours to complete their opening nine holes.
However, this wasn’t the case, and despite what seemed to be a field-wide issue, just one golfer was officially put on the clock.
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) June 2, 2019
Andrea Lee was struggling with her game, despite starting the day 5 shots off the top and things got worse when she was put on the clock.
Lee, who still holds amateur status was deemed to have continued playing slow and was handed a one-shot penalty, contributing to a dismal round of 8-over.
Granted, it is good to see a governing body taking action and punishing a player for slow play, but, the USGA didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory when considering the speed of the rest of the field.
It will be interesting to see if there is any further fall out from this ruling.